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Old 07-22-2008, 04:19 PM   #1
Registered: Aug 2005
Location: Chicago
Distribution: RHEL5,CENTOS
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Question Samba as a PDC in a mixed environment

I am completely revamping my home network, I want to use Samba as my PDC(goodbye windows 2003 server) I will be running 1 laptop wit fedora/windows media center 1 laptop with MAC OS x????, 1 RHEL server (want as my PDC/DHCP) 1 server running VMWAREESX with 2 Solaris hosts 2 centos hosts (and if I am feeling really saucy opensuse) 1 desktop with XP and one with fedora. first question(probably many more to follow) can this work? Second question, what are some general issues I should be aware of before embarking on this journey?

More questions will follow but I am not going to pursue this if there is no chance; so a lot rides on peoples answer to the first question.

Old 07-23-2008, 01:12 PM   #2
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I see no Samba experts are responding so I, with my LIMITED experience in Samba, will offer an opinion. First, certainly Samba can work adequately on a home LAN as a PDC. Next, I don't know if Samba has a Solaris client. Next, some general issues that I found are:
- I had to have the IP address of the Samba server in every client's lmhosts file
- I also put the IP address of every client in the Samba PDC's lmhosts file
The above two items were required in order to authenticate in Samba
- I had to restart all of the clients after I restarted the Samba PDC's Samba software or I would get an error message when trying to connect from a client to a share on the PDC
I finally settled for a standalone server (not a PDC) without NTLM and with workgroup shares using user level authentication. That works great!!!

My experience suggests that Samba may not be a robust platform for an NTLM or AD domain controller. I think that it may work adequately well in this role for a home LAN but probably not for a business. On the other hand Samba works very well as a standalone server using workgroup shares and user level authentication.

- Make sure that you run smbpasswd for your Samba users. That's easy to forget.

In summary Samba makes a great file and print server that can be used in a business environment but I would not make it a domain controller in a business. The only configuration that I didn't attempt was to use Samba as a file server in a Windows domain because I don't have an MS server class OS available. (I'll keep my $850 rather than purchase Windows Server 2003.)

Last edited by stress_junkie; 07-23-2008 at 07:47 PM.


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